There are three important dates in February 2024: the 1st, the 6th-22nd, and the 28th. One of these dates has already passed us by, and one is currently in progress, but no need to worry – you can catch up on what you missed here.
February 1st – The Monetary Policy was released
The Bank of England published it’s Monetary Policy Report on the first day of the month.
Why is this important?
This report is released quarterly and outlines economic analysis and inflation predictions. This information is used by the Monetary Policy Committee when making decisions about the interest rate.
What did it say?
The key points from this report include:
- The interest rate remains at 5.25%
- Higher interest rates are working to bring down inflation
- The target for inflation is 2% (it’s currently at 4% as of December 2023) – the Bank of England predicts that inflation will fall to hit this target within the next few months
- It may take a while for inflation to remain stable at 2%, and the Bank of England predicts that inflation will rise again slightly after hitting this target, before dropping back to 2% and stabilising
February 6th-February 22nd – Third and final cost of living payment
The third and final cost of living payment will be paid to you between the 6th and 22nd February, if you’re eligible.
You’ll need to be in receipt of certain benefits or tax credits to be eligible, for example, Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Working Tax Credit.
If you are eligible, you’ll receive the payment automatically and you don’t need to apply. This also applies if you’re found to be eligible at a later date.
February 28th – Apply for a government “childcare account” to claim funded childcare
Working parents could get 15 hours of funded childcare a week, starting April 1st 2024 (no, it’s not an April fool!).
To be eligible, you’ll need to earn at least £8,670 per year but less than £100,000 per year adjusted net income, and your child will need to be 2 years old or turn 2 before 1st April 2024. (Once your child turns 3, you’ll be eligible for 30 hours free childcare.)
To get the funded hours, you have to make a claim through your government “childcare account” to receive a code, which you’ll then need to give to your childcare provider. If you don’t have a government “childcare account”, the government recommends you apply for one before 28th February to ensure you don’t have to reconfirm your eligibility for the April term.
This scheme will run until September 2024, before the 15 hours of free childcare will be extended down to children from 9 months old. Then, in September 2025, working parents of children under 5 will be entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week providing they meet certain criteria. Find out more here.
Want to know what other important dates you should be noting in your calendar this year? Check out our full list of money dates for your diary in 2024.